The 11 Top Indian Horror Films Ever, Ranked

The best Indian horror films focus on mythology from that region of the world while delivering tremendous scares. Language barriers and national boundaries do not apply to the horror genre, which is universally recognised and has its own mythologies and horror stories, many of which are based on local cultures and belief systems. While the best horror films ever made have come from the United States and the United Kingdom, India also has a long history of producing horror films that are on par with anything produced in the West.

India is well-known for its enormous film industry, which produces blockbusters that match Hollywood productions as well as huge hits across the globe like RRR. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that they have also made a number of noteworthy horror films, employing a number of the same ideas as Hollywood, such as ghost stories and demonic possession. For movie enthusiasts who are ready to look for them, India produces a lot of excellent horror films. The country knows how to make a good horror picture.

11. Stree (2018)

A Horror Comedy About An Urban Legend Of A Witch Who Abducts Men

When done well, the horror and comedy genres can be combined to create a lot of fun, and Stree is one film that does it brilliantly. The urban legend known as Nale Ba, which translates to “Come Tomorrow,” served as the inspiration for this Indian horror film. According to a folklore, people paint this word on their house walls to ward off evil spirits. In Stree, a young guy falls in love with a girl but later starts to think that she might be the witch herself. The village has been haunted by a witch for years, abducting men.

In addition to giving the original and creative plot a lot of heart, the film strikes the perfect mix between humour and terror, making it stand out in a crowded field. Stree was well-received by critics who praised its offbeat humour, director, screenplay, and the story’s central social message. At the Zed Cine Awards and the Filmfare Awards, director Amar Kaushik took home the Best Debut Director title.

10. Pari (2018)

A Movie About A Girl With Demonic Blood Who Becomes Pregnant

Prosit Roy, a Bengali filmmaker, makes a fantastic directing debut with Pari, a supernatural horror film about an unusual woman named Rukhsana who might not be of this world. Auladhchakra is a diabolical organisation that sexually abuses and impregnates kidnapped women with the child of an Islamic mythological demon named Ifrit. Pari has elements of demonic horror. A organisation that hunts out pregnant women and imprisons them until the kid is born with the intention of killing, beheading, and glass-jarring them is even more horrifying.

The narrative then centres on a woman’s daughter who managed to flee the group’s grasp and is currently expecting a child of her own. Anushka Sharma, who plays Rukhsana in the film, gives an outstanding performance as the lead character. The plot is undoubtedly strange and disturbing, but it’s also unlike any other in the horror genre. Islamic culture has a real myth about the Ifrit, which is related to the jinn as demonic creatures of the underworld, adding a real mythological element to the story.

9. 9 (2019)

A Father & Son Encounter Horrors During The Passing Of A Comet

In addition to being an enjoyable blend of horror and science fiction, 9 has some heartwarming aspects about father-son ties. The title “9” alludes to the number of days that all contemporary technology—including phone service and electricity—will be disrupted by a passing comet. The film centres on astrophysicist Dr. Albert Lewis, who is widowed, and his son Adam, age eight. Adam and Dr. Lewis have a strained relationship since Dr. Albert Lewis believes Adam is to blame for his wife’s death during childbirth. Adam is detested by Albert’s brother-in-law as well, who thinks the boy is wicked.

Ava shows up and starts torturing Adam while the father and son are examining the approaching comet. However, things are not as they seem, as Albert realises his son’s life may be in jeopardy. The father-son bond is the true core of the narrative, despite the film’s excellent camera work and visual effects. The film is a creative sci-fi horror with touching personal drama portrayed by talented actors Master Alok and Prithviraj Sukumaran.

8. 1920 (2008)

A New Couple Moves Into An Old Manor Only To Find It Haunted

Haunted houses are a subgenre of historical horror that produces some of the best films; 1920 is one of them. The 2008 film centres on a married couple who reside in a haunted house. When a Hindu guy named Arjun marries a British Indian woman who is half-caste, his family seeks to have her killed in order to dissolve the union. Arjun takes a work as an architect renovating a grand ancient manor house, leaving behind his family and his religious convictions. They discover there that it is haunted and that something inside of it want his wife.

With a duration of 140 minutes, the picture offers ample opportunity to include impressive supernatural-themed shocks and intriguing character interactions centred around marriage. 1920 was a big hit in its home country of India and started a four-film franchise, proving that it works well as a mainstream horror movie.

7. The House Next Door (2017)

A Troubled Teenage Moves In Next Door To A Struggling Married Couple

Indian horror movie The House Next Door has a lot of well-timed jump scares that can frighten and unnerve viewers. The narrative centres on brain surgeon Krish and his wife Lakshmi, who become disturbed when a disobedient teenager and her stepmother move in next door. The youngster experiences a number of unsettling paranormal incidents, which lead to a conflict between good and evil as Krish and Lakshmi try to drive the spirits out of their home.

In addition to playing the lead role of brain surgeon in the film, Siddharth co-wrote the script with the goal of collaborating with Andrea Jeremiah, who played his wife, on a horror film helmed by Milind Rau (Kadhal 2 Kalyanam). Positive reviews were given to The House Next Door, with special attention to how well it incorporated horror into the Kollywood film milieu. It’s a captivating tale about an old-fashioned ghost, certain to excite fans of solid paranormal horror.

6. Kothanodi (2015)

A Story Of Mothers & Children Based On Indigenous Folk Tales

Grand Mother’s Tales, a well-loved work of Assamese literature that has been appreciated since its 1911 publication, is the basis for the 2015 film Kothanodi. The book is a compilation of folktales penned by Lakshminath Bezbaroa, an Assamese poet. The book was legendary in Assam, therefore adapting it would have been quite the task. However, Kothanodi succeeds in making an engaging movie thanks to some excellent filming and creative retellings of the well-known tales. Four fables from the book—Tejimola, Champawati, Ou Kuwori, and Tawoir Xadhu—form the basis of the movie’s narrative.

The stories that narrate the four fables are related. While her husband is away on a trip, he meets a mystery lady who gives birth to an outenga, and the mother decides to kill her stepdaughter. A last mother wishes to shield her child from her murderous husband, while another lady in a different town arranges her daughter’s wedding with fatal effects. Kothanodi is not a simple horror movie, but it does deal with some extremely tough subjects that are likely to unnerve and unsettle.

5. Aamis (Ravening) (2019)

A Couple Soon Develops A Taste For Human Flesh

Aamis, also known as Ravening in English, made its festival debut at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and received a lot of positive feedback. The narrative centres on Nirmali, a content paediatrician who meets a Ph.D. candidate researching Indian dietary customs. The two hit it off right away and start experimenting with various cuts of meat. Soon after, Nirmali becomes fixated with tasting human flesh, which sets up a terrifying finale when their hidden aspirations are revealed.

With a bizarre plot that will satisfy even the pickiest horror enthusiast, it is modelled after the violent and obscenely graphic 1980s extreme films that were outlawed. The unsettling plot and the film’s directing earned it mainly excellent reviews, even though some critics felt that the ending left much to be desired. The Best Director Award went to Bhaskar Hazarika at the Singapore South Asian International Film Festival.

4. Mahal (1949)

Bollywood’s First Horror Movie

Mahal, which is frequently cited as Bollywood’s debut horror film, is noteworthy purely for its historical significance. Ashok Kumar plays Hari Shankar in the 1949 film, which tells the story of a man who has strange happenings and visions inside his new, abandoned palace. Visions of an enigmatic woman who says she was his lover in a past life start to appear to him. The film explores concepts of rebirth while offering a seductive enigma that begs questions as much as it does chills.

In its home country of India, Mahal became incredibly popular, launching the gothic horror subgenre and elevating Madhubala to the status of a Hindi film star. When it was first released, it became a national hit, demonstrating that tense horror films could be made in India. The reviews were extremely positive, and as time went on, the film got better and better, becoming a cult classic. For six years following its debut, Madhubala’s highest-grossing film remained the film as he continued to climb the superstar ladder.

3. Bhoot (2003)

A Demonic Possession Movie

Bhoot is a valuable addition to the malicious demonic possession subgenre, drawing heavily from The Exorcist. In this film, Vishal and Swati, a married couple, move into a haunted flat and start to suffer terrible consequences, including Swati becoming possessed. Bhoot, which earned a Filmfare Award and a Bollywood Movie Award for Best Actress, features some strong possession-based scares and is anchored by an outstanding performance from Urmila Matondkar, who plays Swati. Anyone watching her performance is sure to get chills.

Additionally, Bhoot took up the Best Director (Ram Gopal Varma) Bollywood Movie Award. Additionally, the film was so well-liked that a 2012 follow-up called Bhoot Returns was made. Since 2020, new Bhoot films have been released; however, these are not associated with the original franchise, as Dharma Productions has acquired the rights to use the name in order to present new stories.

2. 13B: Fear Has A New Address (2009)

A Man Watches His Family’s Future On A Telenovela

13B: Fear Has a New Address is a charming little low-budget Indian film, despite its pretty ludicrous title. Despite clearly lacking funding, the video looks amazing because to its creative camera angles and exquisite framing. As a man who sees his family’s destiny through a telenovela that he can only watch on his television, Madhavan demonstrates his talent as a main actor as well. The horrifying secret that a family was murdered in his new flat years earlier is quickly revealed to him.

It combines aspects of Japanese horror with a distinct plot to create a unique horror picture that is both frightening and thought-provoking. The shocking conclusion demonstrates that these supernatural stories rarely have happy endings. Although 13B: Fear Has a New Address, also known as Yavarum Nalam, was met with mixed reviews, its Tamil release proved to be a box office triumph, while its Hindi counterpart was a commercial disaster.

1. Tumbbad (2018)

A Village Goes Against The Goddess Of Prosperity & Suffer For It

Tumbbad was the first Indian film to screen at the 75th Venice International Film Festival when it made its debut there. It is indicative of the film’s calibre as well as the growing popularity of Indian horror outside of the continent. The mythological tale centres on the people of Tumbbad, Maharashtra, who disobey the Goddess of Prosperity’s commands and incur a terrible curse. After that, it was met with critical acclaim and went on to win three Filmfare Awards out of eight nominations.

The film was directed by Rahi Anil Barve in 2012, but he wasn’t satisfied with what he saw until it was edited, so it wasn’t an easy shoot either. In 2015, he went back and rewrote and reshot it, and that is the film that audiences may see now. One of India’s best horror exports, it’s a fantastic Indian film with deep roots in the nation’s tradition that features some absolutely amazing photography and spine-tingling thrills.

Komal Patil: